Sunday, June 21, 2015

Seven Days of Hilderbrand: A Summer Affair

A Summer Affair is one of Elin Hilderbrand's novels I like to pull out at least once per summer. It also reminds me why I make it a point to never volunteer to chair social functions! The main character in the novel, Claire Crispin, is a frazzled mother of four taking a break from a successful glassblowing career. She is conflicted because she loves her children and wants to be a good mother, but creating beautiful glass sculptures is also part of her core being. When she was pregnant with her fourth child, she had an accident in her hot shop that resulted in her baby being born prematurely. Because of this, her husband Jason, a local contractor, encouraged her to focus on raising the children and not her glassblowing for an undetermined amount of time.

Enter wealthy millionaire Lock Dixon, who calls Claire personally one spring day and asks her to lunch. There, he gently persuades her into co-chairing a huge social function for the nonprofit he works for, Nantucket's Children. He has two different motivations for wanting her involvement. 1.) Claire's high school boyfriend Max West is now a world-famous rock star, and Lock wants Claire to ask him to play a concert as part of the benefit. And 2.) Lock wants Claire to create a one-of-a-kind glass sculpture as the auction's main big ticket item.

After immersing herself in a world of mommydom and living with a husband who is more interested in parking himself in front of television every night rather than having a meaningful conversation with his wife, Claire is instantly flattered after her conversation with Lock. She also feels guilt in his presence--his wife Daphne was involved in a terrible car accident after a night out with Claire and her girlfriends--and still has complications from a brain injury. Claire sets out to co-chair the event for the next summer, with no idea of the curveballs she will be thrown while doing so, the first of which is her beautiful and conniving co-chair, Isabelle French.

It's inevitable that Claire will begin an affair with Lock Dixon, but there are also several other storylines in the novel that keep it intriguing, including a character embezzling money from the charity and Claire's history with the rock star, Max West. The presence of food is also alive and well in this novel, as Claire's best friend and sister-in-law run a catering business the island, and description of their culinary creations abound. As the big day of the benefit approaches, you'll barely be able to keep up with all the shenanigans among the characters.

No comments: